City of San Antonio to invest $26 million in COVID-19 relief funds to provide access to mental health care for the community

SAN ANTONIO (September 1, 2022) – Better access to mental health services will be coming to San Antonio through a $26 million Mental Health Plan. The services and plan are funded from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).

“People of all ages have gone through a long period of disruption through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through public input meetings, provider and stakeholder feedback sessions and input from school districts as well as faith leaders, there was a clear consensus that investments in mental health were needed across the community,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “We are grateful to the community for their support in developing this plan and to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for their tireless efforts in the development of the plan.”

 

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“This effort aligns with the SA Forward plan which identified the City’s health priorities and augments mental health initiatives that contribute to healthier and safer communities,” said Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob. “We are ready to get to work to provide these critical resources in order to support residents during these uncertain times.”

The implementation plan will drive the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s mental health initiatives over the next two years. The $26 million will be utilized over two years and divides the available funds into four strategic areas:

  • Youth – $15 million
    • Access to mental health for youth ages 12 to 19
    • Project Worth Teen Ambassador and Stand Up SA programs
    • Developmental disorder diagnostic services & family plan development for children up to six years old
  • Older Adults – $5 million
    • Assistance to navigate mental health programs
    • Social interaction activities and programs
    • Caregiver program services and coaching
  • Support for people experiencing homelessness – $5 million
    • Chronic unsheltered homeless veterans
    • Youth aging out of the foster care system
  • Collaboration – $1M
    • Establish framework for upstream systems and organizations
    • Recommend central phone number to respond to pre-crisis calls
    • Education campaign evaluation of the State’s 988 mental health hotline

Of the $26 million, $22.75 million of the funding will go through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process. Community mental health organizations and nonprofits will be notified of the process and will be encouraged to submit a proposal. The RFP is scheduled to open on September 9, 2022. Contracts will be awarded early next year.

This press release was provided by the City of San Antonio.